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Curly Nikki

Derek J Gets a Redemption- Natural Hair

By January 27th, 2021146 Comments

Derek J Gets a Redemption- Natural Hair
Derek J, ATL based celebrity stylist and TV personality, put a well-clad foot in his mouth on the recently aired ‘good hair’ episode of Dr. Drew’s Life Changers. Shortly thereafter, distressed, confused and seeking clarity, he shined the proverbial CN Signal into the night sky asking for deliverance from the incessant stream of hate mail. #TeamNatural roll deep as a mug.

Appreciative of his willingness to keep it real and genuine desire to be educated on the matter, I gave Derek some dedicated time On the Couch to gain some insight. Will he get his redemption? Read on!

CN: Okay, so what happened?

DJ: First of all, I didn’t think that that statement would’ve caused what it caused. The conversation with Dr. Drew was about natural hair versus relaxed hair and weaves. In the beginning of the interview, I encouraged my client to go natural because I know that many women don’t know what their natural hair looks like. But later during the conversation, I did make the statement that some women need relaxers.

CN: What the hell Derek J?!

DJ: I didn’t mean relaxed bone straight… I meant to calm down frizz.

CN: Right… you know this is not helping your case…

DJ: Some people may want a looser curl or things of that nature. You would need some kind of chemical assistance to work that look.

CN: Uh… no boo boo. We have tons, TONS of options outside of chemicals. But put a pin in that. Do you think that most women desire looser curls?

DJ: Yes, not most women, but some do. I’ve seen women that want to go natural but turn to weaves first to get the look they’re going for. They say, ‘oh my hair’s too short to wear natural’, or ‘it’s too this or that to wear natural’. So they get a weave to get that natural look that they want to have. If that’s the look you’re going for and your hair doesn’t do that, then chemicals or a weave is needed to make it happen.

CN: So you’re saying there ain’t enough curly pudding in the world?

DJ: [Laughter]

CN: And what is ‘that look’? ‘The Joan Clayton’?

DJ: Yep. Exactly. Some women need a relaxer or chemical assistance to achieve that look.

CN: That look… are we talking, ‘easily managed hair’, or the taboo, ‘good hair’?

DJ: No [Laughter]. Good hair is basically what you think it is and what you’re trying to go for.

CN: That’s so P.C.!

DJ: [Laughter] Before I answer that question, I want to say that I also didn’t know that the word ‘manageable’ is a bad word in the natural hair community. I don’t know all this stuff! [Laughter] I’m learning though. Anyway, good hair is what works for you. What’s good for me might not be what’s good for you. It’s frustrating because this shouldn’t even be the topic of conversation. We have a whole lot of other issues for Black folks to worry about instead of whether someone wants to relax their hair or not. Or if somebody wants to achieve a looser texture curl than what they have naturally.

God gave you natural hair, but if you want to go that hard on it, then it shouldn’t just stop at your hair. Don’t get your eye brows arched, stop shaving your legs, stop shaving under your arms, don’t wear a bra… If you want to accept what God gave you, do it then, but you can’t just stop at your head.

CN: Would you have seen anything wrong with what you said had it not been brought to your attention… repeatedly?

DJ: I didn’t think twice. When I spoke to other stylists and a few natural haired friends, they agreed, so I didn’t think that there was anything wrong with the statement. I didn’t say all women, I said some. They took it as if I’d said it’s all women and that I look down on natural hair and that’s not what I was saying.

CN: How many hateful emails did you get?

DJ: 174

CN: Got damn.

DJ: I’m so frustrated. I can understand people having their comments and disagreeing with what I have to say, but y’all are horrible! Now I’m a coon, I’m ignorant, I’m stupid… how did all of this come from that?! I mean, wow. Y’all are going hard! The emails have been worse than comments on the gossip blogs. It’s terrible. I didn’t mean any harm.

CN: Can you see though how some would take that comment to mean that the hair that grows out of our scalps naturally is not good enough?

DJ: Yes, I do see that. It’s only black people that have this issue though. You don’t see white women walking around with their ‘natural hair cause’. They get color, they get perms to enhance their curls… you don’t see other cultures when after altering their hair texture, have a come to Jesus moment… they don’t have this natural hair revelation. We go so hard on it and that’s where I get lost.

When I talk to natural hair advocates, it’s never middle ground… it’s ‘our way or no way’. And there’s also the belief that if a woman get’s a relaxer or gets a weave, then she’s less of a Black woman. Those things are just harsh and just one sided. It’s not cool. People have choices… and if you want to put a relaxer in, that makes you no less Black than the next.

CN: On that much, we agree. And I want to note that the typical CurlyNikki reader is not the militant natural you speak of. We are inclusive and non-judgmental. ‘Do you boo boo’ is our motto. My concern about what you said, whether you used ‘some’ or ‘all’, is the sentiment that our hair needs to be managed and smoothed to be attractive or to get the desired results. This assumes that we all want the same ‘desired result’ and it suggests that some textures aren’t acceptable.

Do you work with natural hair?

DJ: Um, yes. My thought behind it is, people say ‘relaxers damage the hair’, no, the person that applied the relaxer damaged the hair. People are not well versed in the use of chemicals and people automatically assume that hair can’t be healthy with a relaxer. But if you’re natural and you come into a salon and get it pressed every week, that’s no better. If that’s the case, you should just get a relaxer so you don’t have that constant heat.

CN: Is natural hair great hair or the greatest?

DJ: The greatest.

CN: Good answer. You didn’t say, how many natural clients do you have?

DJ: The majority of my clients are natural. But they’re natural underneath the weave.

CN: That so doesn’t count! How many twist-outs have you done? How many fros have you shaped?

DJ: No, no, no. I don’t do no natural hair styles. All my natural clients are either getting their hair pressed or getting a weave.

CN: Are you familiar with the natural hair community online? Do you watch Youtube videos?

DJ: No, not really.

CN: Okay, so here’s the thing. I appreciate your honesty and willingness to have this discussion. There are a ton of talented stylists that have no clue what to do with natural hair, and unfortunately, you’re among the ranks. As the king of fantasy hair, you’ve got some catching up to do in this natural hair game.
How would you feel about doing some homework?

DJ: Well, what do you have in mind?

CN: Your homework is to watch an hour of Youtube videos a week, specifically the channels of Chary Jay, Naptural85, and Naturalnessdotcom, as well as peruse the archives and forum. Get real familiar.

You will not only become a natural hair advocate, but develop proficiencies in helping women transition from relaxed to natural, and styling natural hair… not just in weaves. You will report back to the CN community with all you’ve learned culminating in the styling of my intern, friend and fellow blogger Taneica of GlassDolls… on camera. It is only at this time that you get your redemption and earn your #teamnatural card.


DJ: Agreed.

Derek J needs help, y’all. What care and styling tips does he NEED to know? He’ll be reading, so share!

Also, tell him why you don’t need a relaxer!


  • Anonymous says:

    He also needs to purchase "Thank God I’m Natural: The Ultimate Guide to Caring for and Maintaining Natural Hair". because dat will open his eyes about natural hair.

  • Anonymous says:

    Derek makes his living doing hair. I would not expect him to encourage women to go natural because many of us don't need them once we do. My last visit to the salon(after I was natural) ended with my stylist chasing me around the chair with a flat iron – LOL! I just didn't want to risk the heat damage so we agreed on wet flat twists and I left that place pronto. I paid a whole lotta cash for what was basically a shampoo. I understand that ladies like to change it up so more power to them if they want to go with a weave or chemical treatment. My hair couldn't take it anymore and neither could my wallet. I'm glad Derek did the interview because his opinion is just as valid as everyone else's – even if we don't happen to see eye to eye.

  • Anonymous says:

    Derek J has a point. Some of these nappy nazis need to get over themselves. Not everyone has so much time on their hands where they can peruse hair boards everyday trying to decipher what's "publicly acceptable" to say regarding natural hair. Not once did I read in his demeanor a man who abhors black hair or deserved the kind of harsh feedback he received. It's getting so that ppl hiding behind these keyboards have forgotten that the ppl they are attacking are ppl too. They also seem to forget that long b4 these hair boards sprung up, their view on natural hair was less than stellar. I really think some (read I said SOME not ALL) ladies need to reassess their own personal worth before attacking these hair dressers (Andre W. now Derek. Who's next?) for the views that keep their clients happy. All that negativity is OVERKILL over some dang hair. Yay for you for being natural and knowing a 101 ways to utilize castor oil. Now let's see if you can learn to disagree with someone without trying to scratch out their cyber eyes with your cyber nails.

  • Anonymous says:

    Nikki, I applaud you for being so diplomatic, but personally I could care less what Derek J thinks about anything. The fact that he is a walking circus is testament to his complete lack of knowledge about anything natural. I guess I'm just old school, but I'm not okay with the fact that he struts around carrying a purse and wearing heels. It is sad that he is considered a "celebrity" based solely on his flamboyant behavior. I'm not impressed. His ignorance should never have been given a platform.

  • kena says:

    reading this article was quite interesting. i am so proud of nikki for keeping it very real!! i appreciate derek j for the interview. i decided not to perm my hair 3 years ago because i was tired of the breakage, chemical burns, hair being glued to my head, and my hair thinning. so i bc and it was the best decision that i made for my hair. according to your statement, i am one of the women that you referred to as who NEEDS a perm to get the desired look. i am type 4b/4c. my coils are tightly curled. my hair shrinks 80% when it has dried. yes, i have heard the comments that my hair type is too nappy to go natural. i don't have "good hair". well that is ignorant talk because good hair is healthy hair. unfortunately, many people in the black community believe that my hair type is "bad hair". why because my hair is nappy? once again ignorant talk. our self hatred stems back to slave days. i will not have a history lesson but it is true. our self hatred for nappy hair is from years and years of oppression. it is time for black america to get off of the plantation and love all black people regardless of how nappy ones hair is. so yes, what you said was very offensive and nikki was right in saying that you need to educate yourself on natural hair first before you make any more comments that leave you with your foot in your mouth. and learn to appreciate all hair types from loose curls to tightly coiled kinky hair. because all black hair is beautiful in its natural state. our hair is versatile and can be as creative with hair styles as relaxed hair. since you are a stylist i would encourage you to please celebrate the beauty in our natural hair.

  • Anonymous says:

    Why was it even a big deal?


  • Anonymous says:

    Best interview to date. I LOLed the entire way through!

  • Anonymous says:

    Derek J sounds like and uneducated idiot who obviously needs to learn about natural hair or just stick to what he knows which is nothing!!

  • Anonymous says:

    So many comments here! When you do a follow-up, please make sure Derek J that many of the styles he described can be achieved with out chemicals. The real problem is that professional cosmetology does not include mandated instruction on caring or and styling all textures of hair. He, and many other licensed cosmetologists are only taught to deal with a head of natural hair in 3 ways: 1) a tub of relaxer, 2) some hot irons, or 3) some indian remy. Send Derek J back to change the culture of his profession, his views are a product of that training.

  • Anonymous says:

    Anonymous who said this is right on point. Here is the quote from above…
    Anonymous said…

    "No offense Nikki, but to me, this was not even worth you wasting your time to write a column about. We have to be careful about the things that we give our energy to. If someone makes a comment about natural hair, due to a malicious intent…then that may be worthy of a mass response"

    I'm glad someone sees what I see. We continue to attract negative views. Our bloggers should be leading public opinion and showing the "positive side".

  • Anonymous says:

    If you click on the You Tube section of this video, there are many other videos which will complete Dr. Drew's show in its entirety on this issue.

    I can't talk about this issue anymore because it shows the rest of the world how ignorant some of us are. I'm not sayin whose ignorant?
    It's all relative.

  • Tiffany says:

    There is no "redemption" in this interview. Especially after equating white women's view on hair to black women. Of course they don't have a "hair cause". If they don't have straight hair, they have the hair texture that is held on a pedestal in society. Not to mention historically our hair was and still is vehemently denigrated. You can't compare these two groups Derek J like they have faced the same thins in society. You need to educate yourself before you start speaking on natural hair; a texture that you don't even deal with unless to straighten it.

  • Anonymous says:

    he is ignorant. black people arent the only people with this issue, white women with curly hair want straight hair and so do latin women and some indians too…

  • Anonymous says:

    @ Derek J: You would have a very loyal following if you'd start styling natural hair. You'd be surprised at how creative twist/twistout/braid/braidout hairstyles can be on all natural hair. We definitely need more stylists out there who are savvy enough to realize the niche they can serve. There will be so many more women going natural and looking to spend their money on their hair. You are marginalizing yourself and also starting to look so 1990's…Come into the new millenium, boo.

  • stephanie says:

    I really like that he was honest about the whole thing. Funny, cause I can hear Derek J say those things in my head (thanks to Hair Battle and RHOA, lol) My only concern is that I HOPE that his salons feature shampoos with out sulfates in them. Sulfates are hurtful to black hair both natural and chemically altered; so drying and damaging. I am relaxed and my daughter is natural and my stylist caters to us both. She actually wants me to relax less or not at all, something I feel like I can't do right now because I am growning out a cut and I am in between right now. I still relaxed for so long because I loved a short cut that was not a TWA. But not to digress. I think there is alot for stylists to learn from the natural community. I've learned how important a deep condition is; and i rarely see deep conditioners in the salons; unless you ask! They should be a given. Also, I find that most stylists don't apply product from root to tip, which is another technique that has been essential for long strong healthy hair. I also learned to enhance my store brought conditioners with natural oils and honey. Which a stylist may not due, but its great for me when caring for my hair at home. Historically, I believe black hair stylists are driven by techniques, who can cut and curl the best, who can weave and who cannot. That is the service you pay for. I think that all is changing, especially when there are a lot of good ones out there that are ready to serve up great hair care!

  • Kimberly says:

    @Jeannette, good point. I never thought Derek J. was influential. The first time I heard of him was on RHOA. I get what you’re saying but if Derek J. truly wanted to know about Natural Hair, he would've reached out to someone or did his own research a long time ago. However, it's never too late to learn. It seems the type of women he has for clients are more interested in weaves and wigs. Hence the reason he doesn't know much about natural hair.

  • freedomcurl says:

    I don't relax because I felt like a relaxer stressed me out a lot more than being natural.
    In my personal experience, a relaxer was me saying that I really didn't like my 3c hair (really cause I wasnt educated about it). But I ended up hating my relaxer even more because 1. Straight had no personality for me, my hair was literally like most Asian hair–bone straight (that looks good on them, not me) 2. I always stressed about it getting frizzy, which 90% of the time it did, and 3. It dried my scalp and gave me super dandruff (I know this because being almost fully natural, I have virtually no dandruff). I do agree that having a relaxer is not what makes it unhealthy, not knowing how to take care of it is what messes us up, and constant straightening. My hair was relatively healthy when I had a relaxer except for all the straightening, and super long (almost to my butt). But in a way a relaxer was hurting my self esteem…I felt I was not beautiful if my hair was not bone straight on any given day. So I knew I had to go natural, I had to accept frizz sometimes, and had to overcome judging myself for my big hair. I feel free. My name in the CurlyNikki forums is "freedomcurl" for a reason. I've accepted myself, loved my hair, and it DID require a "coming to Jesus"

    I really don't agree about that whole not shaving and no bra comment…you know that 99% of women need a bra, or else suffer from back problems? Ever considered that? Bras are not just for style…I'm sure a lot of women dont wear bras at home, because honestly, after a while they get uncomfortable. But it is really inappropriate to not wear one because you never know what could be showing through your shirt, and how much you could be revealing yourself without that necessary coverage. And as for not shaving, that's also uncomfortable. THERE IS A DIFFERENCE BETWEEN SHAVING TO NOT LOOK UNKEMPT AND UNGROOMED AND ACCEPTING YOUR NATURAL HAIR….we're not perming our leg hair, are we?

  • Anonymous says:

    I'll be frank and say I am no fan of RHOA or Derek J. Just not my cup of tea. And the first time I read this I was thinking, "yay! A prominent stylist wants to learn!" But the second time…don't stylists have to take continuing education classes, shouldn't stylists KNOW some of the basic tenets of hair in general (I mean, frizziness can only be cured by a relaxer? Come on. Frizz ease has been around forever. Just using common sense, that means there has to be an anti-frizz solution for more textured hair that does not involve modifying the hairs' fundamental structure.)

    Too often, stylists are put on pedastals (Andre Walker, anyone?) and while they are up there, we get to fully see their poor credentials. Stylists who are truly only specialists in one technique, one way, and are only WILLING to learn when they are shamed into it. Actually, the willingness to learn puts him a step ahead of Andre Walker but he really should have been willing before.

    Thanks for trying Nikki but I don't know how much hope there is.

  • NajMaj says:

    He needs to get hip to the natural hair community on YouTube. Here are my suggestions:

  • Anonymous says:

    i don't feel the need to educate the chubby little cross-dresser. he's an adult. if he really wants knowledge on the topic of how to care for and style natural hair he could do that. he certainly finds the time to create those weave and perm tragedies.

  • Anonymous says:

    LOL Nikki you are a trip!

  • Gina says:

    Loved this interview it made me LOL a lot. I understand some naturals want to educate him because of his comments, but why so sensitive? Why would he, a person not trained to do natural hair, know that saying "unmanageable" was a bad word in the natural hair community? Truthfully, damn near ALL words are becoming bad words in the natural community.
    Personally I care not what folks say about natural hair or MY natural hair. It is what it is. Some days me and my hair get along some days we don't. It's good and all that he wants to learn more about natural hair, but really I'm not going to go to his salon for a twist out or a wash and go no matter how much he learns from the online natural divas… Now if I want a tight weave I'll be there. Sorry, but to me it is just hair… Yeah some days my hair is unmanageable, so what I put on a hat… Nappy hair, yup it's that 2…

  • Missycee says:

    Beautiful!!! I love the homework part best!! Derek J better get his knowledge on or #teamnatural will be knocking at his door@!!!

  • Ashley Cherie Photography says:

    I believe the reason why we can't compare hair journeys between other ethnic groups and women of African descent is because we came from not being accepted to finally saying I'm accepting this part of me. Just because you want me to change this about myself doesn't mean I have to or should even consider it. And him saying that some women "need relaxers" isn't true! It's kind of sad that some say "oh some people just can't go natural!" Why not? Someone can't accept their self for who they are? That's stupid. It's weird how many hairstylist don't know how to straighten natural hair. During my transition I literally sat in the chair while someone used a COMB to get knots out of my hair. Madness. But I didn't know any better…

  • Kristie says:

    Please excuse my typos

    about* , backlash * , were happy with the choices we made to be natural and happy *

  • Kristie says:

    Good job Nikki…i thought you handled things quite well&& so did Derek J. he had to have humility to take that there was something wrong abou what he said and to take all that bacjlash. We women with natural hair are no ARMY or SOLDIERS or MOVEMENT. We each are individuals and encourage individuality. So ofcourse we are not promoting anything in a "dog eat dog" manner…as though if your hair is permed were ready to bite…we encourage healthy hair and encourage positivity and freeness of mind body and soul….. were happy with the choices weve made to be happy and enjoy seeing the joy in others. So i would suggest that Derek J. just do his research and not feel too bad because most of us had to learn just like he has. I learned alot from users on youtube:


    Those are all beautiful women with different textures …thickness..backgrounds ..lifestyles who all had to learn and inspired others like me.

    I hope that helps Derek J. and it will help his customers as well..i guarantee if he opens up his eyes and really gets to know more about this his career will flourish !!


  • cellotlhicks says:

    Um….DJ….Its all good. i don't know why folks are sending crazy emails. My testimony concerning my hair is to wear it proudly. It speaks more than anything. I am not ashamed of it, and that is more powerful than writing emails or bashing anyone online. I don't have to defend my hair. Just wear it.

  • Ysa Adams says:

    Good interview Nikki. Between this and comments made on the show, there are so many points to discuss.

    First, black women(and men) don't have the luxury of separating the personal from the socio-political when it comes to our hair. I've yet to find an instance where other groups have had to sue to be allowed to wear their hair in a natural state in the workplace. So I hope we can put to bed the "black women are too sensitive" argument. I'd suggest Derek J. stop by and catch up on his reading.

    Second, the idea the black hair must be tamed (with chemicals or heat) in order to achieve its full potential is still being put forth in black salons and by black hair professionals everywhere. This suggests a lack of training or keeping up with the industry as a whole to me. And marketing yourself as a natural hair care professional when you only touch it as you're putting in a weave or doing a press and curl is false advertising. So we need to "check" ourselves on that issue too.

    Thirdly, there's the *length* issue. It reminds me of the dieting craze where you spend time obsessively weighing yourself. What does it really mean if your natural isn't "bra strap length" or "stretched"? Does that make you any less desirable, healthy, or whole as an individual? Is it possible that that's just as confused a message to send as getting a weave to appear "natural"?

    Lastly, Derek J. has a definite point about the need to curb the nastiness and incivility. He admitted his ignorance (as did stylist to the stars Andre Walker recently) but he wasn't being malevolent. How many of us would be motivated to learn and change after we were attacked? We naturals need to take it down a notch or two in defense of our way hair styling if we hope to be heard.

    Derek Js talent lies in doing the high fashion runway style looks, he doesn't have to seek out natural clients if that's not his business model. I appreciated Kim Coles approach in the video and am just glad she was there to counter much of the misinformation.

  • Jeannette says:

    Kimberly 4:19 PM & EnglishProf 2:27 PM…Please know that we are not trying to change Derek J's opinion but he is being enlightened and educated. I've never been interested in his work myself but he has become the "Go TO" stylist for hair and many people seem to look to him for his opinion about hair care. If you have many who still don't know about hair care and Derek J's making negative comments about natural hair types, those people believe him and take his word as bond. Because he has a large platform of followers and has a strong influence, it's important to educate him so he can educate others. We here on curlynikki and other natural sites have our connections as naturals, we know better. But there are still many people who are naturals or thinking about it but don't wear their natural hair because they are ashamed of it's texture, don't know how to do it or what have you. When he makes comments like that, he perpetuates negative beliefs about natural hair and the cycle continues. With a strong voice like his and platform he has, by educating him, he can be knowledgeable and speak to the public as an educated trained professional in natural hair care. He can also reach more people to accepting their own natural hair as an asset. When people like him are in positions of power (regardless if you, I, or others don't like his work) there are many people who do like him, look up to him and hang on ever word that he says. So it's very important to education someone like him in the position that he is in.

  • Jeannette says:

    This comment has been removed by the author.

  • Kimberly says:

    I agree with EnglishProf 100%. Getting bent out of shape because of someone's negative commentary about natural hair is silly. I couldn't comment on this topic because it makes no sense. Are we going to condemn everyone that makes a negative comment about natural hair?! In my opinion that's not what being natural is all about. I thought it was about self acceptance and to hell what people say and think about it?! Derek J today, a whole bunch of other people tomorrow! SO WHAT! WHO CARES!?!?! To voice your opinion is your right. In an opinion, there is no wrong or right answer it's how that person feels. To go after everyone that says something negative about natural hair is plain silly and those that do obviously have way too much time on their hands. As always Nikki great interview but IMO so not necessary.

  • EnglishProf says:

    I'm sorry but this was too much. Derek J is not my favorite, but right is right. Why does he have to come on this site and seek redemption? Who the hell are we (naturals) that if a person states his/her opinion they have to retract it because we are offended. That's so silly. If we are honest, most of us can say that natural hair is a great deal to handle. We all have been privy to those looking for anything they can get their hands on to lengthen, loosen, stretch, or manipulate their natural curl pattern. Some folk like natural hair and some don't….so what. If people are TRULY natural for themselves and not simply joining the bandwagon, why does it matter so much how other people percieve natural hair? I don't get it.

    And why does he now have to do this homework so that he can be up on the happenings with natural hair. Obviously he caters to naturals who want to be pressed or weaved and that's perfectly fine…he doesn't need to know how to do a twist out. Most of us do our own hair anyway so it's really no big deal about there not being many stylists who do "real" natural styles.

    We are not going to make everybody love or understand natural hair and we shouldn't try to. Damn, leave the man alone. He should have emailed all of those 174 folks back and told them to go to hell. lol

  • Jenn says:

    I don't agree with all of Derek J's comments, but he made some good points. And this coming from a woman who is fully natural and I haven't relaxed my hair for about 7 years.

    1. SOME ladies desire a looser curl pattern than the one they naturally have. These ladies may not want to do a lot of manual styling to get that look. Thus, these ladies would need to get some type of chemical process to achieve that look.

    A. Thus, if a woman with very kinky hair (if your into hair typing a 4c or Z curl pattern) want her hair to look like Traci Ellis Ross, she will need to do some manual styling (ex. twist-out, bantu knot-out) to get that look.

    B. However, some ladies with very kinky hair do not want to do a lot of manual styling. Some just want to wash-n-go with minimal finger styling. Thus, a chemical process would be needed to achieve that result.

    C. That being said, Derek DID NOT SAY OR IMPLY that kinky hair is bad and needs to be chemically processed. He simply said that depending on your natural texture, the final look you want to achieve, and that amount of styling you are willing do to achieve it, a chemical process may be necessary. In my opinion, THAT IS AN ACCURATE ASSESSMENT.

    2. Derek said that his natural clients are either heat straightened or weaved up and that he does not do natural styles (ex. twist-outs, fros). What's wrong with that? At least he was honest about his knowledge base and his clients know what they are getting.

    A. Derek J has a specialty and he sticks with it. If his clients want natural styling, I'm sure they know that they cannot get it from him and need to see someone for whom natural styling is a specialty.

    B. Many hair stylists have different techniques in which they are proficient. It may range from custom coloring, precision cuts, weaves, braids, etc. Evgery stylist is not skilled in all areas. Some desire to be multi-faceted, while others choose to stick with specific techniques that they know and/or like. THERE IS NOTHING WRONG WITH THAT, as long as they are honest with their clients.

    3. I agree with Derek J that IMPROPER RELAXING is often the culprit of damaged hair, as opposed to relaxing in and of itself. This is no different than improper coloring, improper heat styling, improper micro-braiding, etc. I agree with Derek J that IMPROPER TECHNIQUE and IMPROPER HAIR CARE is more of an issue than the technique itself.

    A. Thus, relaxed hair can be healthy hair.

    B. By the same token, natural hair can be unhealthy hair.

    4. Some stylists are natural hair advocates. They may choose to not perform chemical or heat straightening and encourage clients to embrace their natural texture. That's fine. But all stylists do not subscribe to this concept (nor should they have to) and that's fine, too. Derek J obviously falls into the latter category.

    Well, that's my 2 cents. My dissertation (lol) is done.

  • Sophie says:

    I don't think our efforts should go toward getting him to be sorry. Why is a black man who says he thinks some people need to relax their hair any different from anyone else saying that? On the one hand,I think comparing it to women dyeing their hair is missing how deep hair goes for some black women. On the other hand, I do know many white women who dye their hair and flat iron it every day because they're insecure about what they have naturally. If normal people just take care of their natural hair, people will come around.

  • Iamsonotmyhair says:

    Just come check me out:

  • SaBrina says:

    I don't see why people are overly mad at his comments because I have seen some women with natural hair and it was a hot mess. Now for those women they would look better going back to the perm. But if you are comfortable with your hair whether its natural,permed,texlax or whatever that's cool. But some of you women know for a fact if you've seen women with some messed up hair, even before all of this going natural stuff that you would be whispering she needs a touch up etx…

  • Anonymous says:

    "God gave you natural hair, but if you want to go that hard on it, then it shouldn’t just stop at your hair. Don’t get your eye brows arched, stop shaving your legs, stop shaving under your arms, don’t wear a bra… If you want to accept what God gave you, do it then, but you can’t just stop at your head."

    This is the most ignorant statement! Since when does having natural hair mean being unkept and ungroomed??? …This individual is ignorant beyond measure and though I could point out whats so wrong here, I'll just say I smell an ATTENTION WHORE and a PR STUNT…. smh

  • Anonymous says:

    You went way too easy on him Nikki. I don't see any sign of him feeling sorry what for what he said and I'm not really interested in anything else he has to say at this point. It's sad, that as a black man, he'd compare our troubles to that of a white woman getting her hair coloured. I doubt that you'd find a large percent of white women who truly HATE themselves if they don't have their hair a certain way.

    I could type an essay..
    But nope, sorry Nikki, love your blog, but he rubbed me the wrong way. The thing that aggravates me the most is, he's probably doing this for PR and stop getting hate mail. He's not remorseful and probably doesn't even care.

  • Anonymous says:

    No offense Nikki, but to me, this was not even worth you wasting your time to write a column about. We have to be careful about the things that we give our energy to. If someone makes a comment about natural hair, due to a malicious intent…then that may be worthy of a mass response. If it's due to a lack of information, which is the case in this situation, then let it ride. I don't support him, nor do I support RHOA…they are both portraying unhealthy images. He is a talented stylist, but with his share of issues. I don't agree with the hate mail…just leave him be and keep it moving. I'd much rather hear about the latest product review.

  • WHY? says:

    So some people sent him hate mail b/c he used the word manageable?? Really?? Black people kill me. The worst abortion rates, high school drop out rates, marriage rates, out of wedlock kids rates, crime rates (males), income/wealth gap, and the list goes on and on and on. But ppl want to get serious over HAIR!!! Okay, lol. My question is why is this guys (who the hell is he anyway??) opinion so important?

  • Miss Rizos says:

    Hey there Derek J!

    I totally understand why you would say a comment like the one you did, as a society we are led to believe that our hair needs to be "manageable" and always stretched. I don't need a relaxer because in the 1.5 years I've been natural, natural hair communities like have helped me learn about how to love my natural hair and countless techniques to work with my natural hair and not against.

    Let's take detangling for example, I have a lot of hair and it is very kinky, but thanks to the Slip in conditioners, the paddle brush, detangling from the bottom up all while the water is running in the shower helps me tons.

    Finally Derek, this is not something that happens only in the US as you say, I am from the Dominican Republic and the natural hair movement as some call it, is alive and kicking there. I am currently writing from an HIV conference in the Bahamas and boy o boy it's alive all over the Caribbean!

    Good luck and can't wait for you to check in, you could really cause a positive impact and turn this around.

    Nik you are the ish girl! This is an awesome way of putting the situation out there like it is!

    Carolina aka Miss Rizos (Derek that's Miss Curls in Spanish 😉 )

  • Anonymous says:

    This just shows you that not every one who is a hairdresser knows how to do natural hair. If you are going to get your hair done, go to a reputable natural hair salon. Call ahead and make sure they do natural hair styling and have the training needed to do natural hair. Just a thought

  • Anonymous says:

    Good luck Derek! Wishing you the best in your new learning curve.

    I don't relax, because my hair feels so" alive" in its natural state. I realize that hair is protein -not an actual living being, but when I went natural in 2000, i was amazed at the difference in the behavior of my hair. I distinctly remember telling my sister that it seemed alive. What I meant by that, is for the first time in my life, my hair actually had independent curl and it held curls for days if I decided to do a roller set. It NEVER held a curl when I was relaxed, no matter what I did , no matter who put the relaxer in and no matter how mild the relaxer was. It's just that simple.

    I realize that for a stylist, relaxers, weaves and coloring are big business and good money, but there is room for natural stylists to do very well too. Afrigenix, Turning Heads, Khamit Kinks (all in NY) and salons like these have been around for years. They would be a great place to get a look at the set up of high end natural hair care styling options and salon offerings.

    In Nikki's defense re; henna: she mentioned that one of the potential effects of henna is a loosening of some curl types and that it is used as a coloring agent and a conditioning agent/ protein-like treatment. She did say that it caused the 'babydoll" effect on her hair. She was simply describing the effect of it on her hair. I don't recall her then going forth to put a value judgment on that or expressing a specific desire for that effect. But, even if she had, so what??? She is doing Nikki.

    If any other blogger or youtuber (other than the ones listed at the end of the post) wants in on Derek's educational foray into natural hair, they can call up Derek in the ATL. No disrespect to any of them, but only so many names can be listed in recommending sites. Otherwise, the list could be as long as forever. So many people on the internet are doing such a great job, its just great to see and have access to. Jor-El of may even want to give Derek the male perspective!

    Being natural affords us with so many styling options. Just because a naturalista decides to wear her hair in a style which has looser curls than what normally grows out of her head, it does not mean she hates her texture. Afterall, aren't we all looking forward to the day when no one will get so up in arms about what we do or don't do to our hair? It's
    O U R S.

  • Anonymous says:

    No offense, but how does a gay male know what a woman wants. Just saying…

  • Anonymous says:


  • Anonymous says:

    You cannot compare a black woman's hair story to a white woman's because they are totally different. Unfortunately the black woman's hair story is most likely inclusive of ingrained negative feelings about her race and ethnicity because of the natural texture of her hair. A white woman's hair story does NOT come with that type of baggage. Period. Most black women have been shown, coached, advised, forced or convinced that is IS natural to try cover her natural textue, straighten it, fake it, glue it, braid it do "whatevah" to make it "manageable" and acceptable. A white woman is already the standard she just may have to play that "standard" up which is still unfortunate. But not the same. She is not brainwashed to make her hair kinky in order for it to be "acceptable". My point you cannot compare the two.

    Also men.. NO man…will ever understand how important hair is to a female. It is just hair…buuuut really it's not lol. It's Hair. It's an extension of her and how she feels or wants to feel or be seen. This natural hair revolution has given a lot of women a realization for the first time that she and everything is naturally hers is really beautiful. It just started with the hair on her head BECAUSE our hair has always been under attack and hardly ever appreciated just for what it is 🙂

  • shannon b says:

    I know you probably wont see this. All I really have to add is:
    Derek, natural hair, esspecially kinky hair, needs moisture. It needs moisture more than any other type. To moisturize hair you want to either A) spray it with water from a spritz bottle until damp or
    B) add a leave in conditioner.
    C)the next step is to seal, by applying oil, grease, or shea butter to the still damp hair. Then style as usual. This is the correct way to use hair grease/oil, anyother way is wrong. Hair grease and oils are NOT moisturizers by themselves, because they cannot penetrate the hair shaft, they just sit on top of the hair strand. They are however excellent sealants, and excellent lubricators, keeping breakage at a minimum.

  • kinkycurlyhair says:


  • Anonymous says:

    A good place for Derek J to start on his natural hair journey would be at The Natural Haven blog. Lots of informative info can be viewed on the site which was btw started by a natural who is a UK scientist. With that said i'm glad his eyes were opened.

  • Anonymous says:

    lol this is all hilarious…

    damn Nikki STOP THE VIOLENCE, your ability to get top interviews is just awesome.

    Derek you are awesome too and I'm a genuine fan, but unfortunately it's for all the wrong reasons.

  • Anonymous says:

    I think Kim held her own and represented well…"that makes me sad" loved it

  • Anonymous says:


  • Claire says:

    "It’s only black people that have this issue though. You don’t see white women walking around with their ‘natural hair cause’. They get color, they get perms to enhance their curls… you don’t see other cultures when after altering their hair texture, have a come to Jesus moment… they don’t have this natural hair revelation. We go so hard on it and that’s where I get lost."

    It may be only black people who are so sensitive about our natural hair, but quite frankly, we have the right to be. Just look at our history.

    Is this man not aware of the ways in which black women are vilified for choosing to sport what God gave them? I'm sure others know what I'm referring to. But here's a clue. What about the tired, traditional notion that unless we wear hair that is not ours or that has been chemically treated, then we are unlovable, unemployable, and downright UGLY? People can be downright verbally abusive to women for wearing their natural hair.

    I find it very, VERY hard to believe that Derek J doesn't have any idea of where all of our willingness to defend our hair comes from.

    Black women have more than earned the right to be proud of what's ours.

  • Loeski says:

    I guess something to note is that the kinkier the hair, usually the drier it is so the more moisture it needs. Note the difference between moisurizing, sealing and coating. And as far as why I don't need a relaxer, simply put…I'm not lazy ^_^

  • Anonymous says:

    I agree with everyone who takes the dissing natural hair seriously. Um…its not JUST hair people…if it was there would have been this many natural black women years ago…but um there weren't. So obviously the things society has made us believe about our own beauty are very harmful to our psyche and have influenced our behavior. Wasn't it just a couple of years ago when black women sat for 15 hours or more to get micro-braids. It seems to me like all these accusations about hair nazis are misplaced. Yes I get that some folks are a lil cra with their opinions, hating on others for wearing weaves or whatever. But no one ever talks about the natural hair snobs. Those people that wear their hair natural find that it works for them and then turn around and say…its no big deal. Are you kidding.

  • Anonymous says:

    I am sorry, but I recognized Felicia and I wondered to myself isn't that the lady with the really bad attitude on youtube? long and behold it is! She made a video saying she hates the natural hair community and cussed up a storm in that video. My goodness, this lady is so annoying. Lord forgive me.

  • Anonymous says:

    Derek…..tisk tisk. The reason i dont need a relaxer is because the whole concept is a lie. When stylists like you told me i had healthy relaxed hair back in the day u where lying. Lying and burning up my scalp, sewing things to my head and irritating my scalp, and cutting off all my growth when i had no split ends. Yes indeed u need to do some natural hair research.

  • Erin says:


    It was cute when he stuck up for relaxers using the "guns don't kill people, people kill people" argument.

  • Anonymous says:

    Derek you have the right to have your opinion and while I might not have chewed off your head, your comment would have been upsetting. Natural hair can be managed. The problem is that many women in the black community do not know how to manage it. I have seen so many women on/off youtube who have healthy and beautiful natural hair. I have heard many of them admit all the issues they have had with their hair. But once they give their hair the chance and learn how to maintain it, they fall in love. Your comment is discouraging to black women especially those who are thinking of going natural and don't think that their hair is good enough. Not everyone has hair like Tracee Ellis Ross but we all have uniquely wonderful hair. I know, Joan Crawford doesn't wake up with beautiful hair and neither do women who aren't black. They also have to take measures to maintain their hair. And your argument about not shaving, etc doesn't quite add up because when you neglect to shave and arch your brows you are not chemically altering thus denaturing a part of your body to fit the standard. This natural hair movement, which I hope is more than a fad, is great because black women have been shunned for so many of our features for a long time. It is great that we are starting to love more about ourselves.

  • Yvette says:

    Wow! You went hard Nikki. Oh well – (*jumping up and down-yay!*) I really never understood why a stylist who deals with our hair doesn't know how to do naturals, weaves, relaxers, lace fronts, etc. Its like going to med school to become a heart surgeon, but only learning about the left ventricle. I'm #teamnaturallykinkyandlovingit all the way, but sometimes it just boggles the mind. We have so many ways to wear our hair, and its neither wrong nor right which way we decide – its a personal choice. The problems arise when we think the way we wear our hair is better than another who chooses a different path. My fave salon did it all, and all the women embraced each others hair — from the relaxed/permed styles to the natural twists and everything in between. Oooh, why can't they all be like that!? Anyway, I'm interested to see what Derek learns.

  • Anonymous says:

    Thank you Brytne Shakur for TELLING THE TRUTH! I've seen some of those sistas sporting their natural dos and said "what the?!"…"that should be hidden under a paper bag!" And I'm natural since Aug 2010 with Type 4 hair.

  • Anonymous says:

    This may not get posted, but get real! There's nothing wrong with the man having an opinion. Some people want a perm. Some of us want a weave. Derek, if you see this, nicks all those crazy emails. Who's the professional here?

  • Jami says:

    *****Finally, the reason I do not need a relaxer is because relaxers will perpetuate others' thoughts in my head that my natural hair is not good enough, and that there's nothing that can be done with my natural hair in its 100% natural state, but this is a bold-faced lie. I don't NEED a relaxer. There are a lot of great techniques and styles for my hair in its natural state.

    ****Checkout the following scientific or styling blogs:, (esp. natural style icons), and

    *****Also check out the following YouTube channels: KimmayTube, SimplYounique, HairCrush, thinkandgrowchick, thepinupnoire, ninapruitt, naturalstronghair, PrettyDimples01, MopTopMaven, HealthyHairJourney, allthatsgold, and luvbeinnatural.

    Much Peace!

  • Jami says:

    Wow! Way to go, CurlyNikki!! Great redemptive homework assignment for Derek J!

    Hey Derek J, don't feel too bad; I've been natural since April 2000 and just discovered online #TeamNatural this summer (no, really).

    ****Natural hair care tips that you NEED to know are:
    Every girl needs a daily, weekly, biweekly, monthly and/or quarterly regimen, depending on her hair type and/or personal likes and dislikes, JUST LIKE a relaxed gal (yeaahhhhh!):

    1. Cleansing: I think mud washes are great. But if you have drier hair, a pre-poo with an oil is best, because mud washes definitely decrease oil. If not a mud wash, then I guess a co-wash. A co-wash means using a rinse-out conditioner as a shampoo, because the average shampoo strips hair of it's natural oils and makes hair "squeaky clean" which actually should not be the goal with natural hair (maybe even nobody's hair; lol) But there are shampoos that others can point you toward to use once you start actually styling black hair in its natural state.
    2. Conditioning: If you use something other than mud wash or co-wash, then of course conditioning is required. A girl needs to decide on a Rinse-out, leave-in, and/or deep treatment.
    3. Oiling: I like hot oil treatments; and I don't sit under dryers but use plastic wraps. I don't oil or grease my scalp or hair on a daily basis. but it depends on each person. I like coconut oil, but don't touch castor oil (which is due more to my soapbox, but I won't get on it here, but it's similar to why I favor yak hair and don't fool with human hair if I'm going to add hair extensions)
    4. Moisturizing: I think for drier natural hair this is a must. But I'm not a trichologist, cosmetologist or scientist so maybe it's a must for all hair. Anywho, I think daily use of a humectant or moisturizer is good. Also, some people swear by steaming hair but I don't know nothing about it.
    5. Trimming/Dusting: I trim once every 2 or 3 months. But again this is personal pref. I've even heard of trimming once a year! Some folks don't trim per se but they dust their ends, which means removing knots, trimming split ends or tapered ends. I don't do this.
    6. Satin: A post just went up today on another blog that this is a myth, but like I said, I've been natural for almost 12 years, and when I finally bought my first satin pillowcase about 6 years ago, pieces of hair are not all over the place when I wake up. I also wear a satin cap underneath hats.

    And, no, I don't have long hair as every 3-4 years I get tired of my ends and cut. But with the discovery of so much since July 2011, I may get on a new kick.

    ****Styling tips that you NEED to know:
    Low manipulation styles are styles that will not require combing, brushing, fluffing on a daily basis but will allow the hair to stay in a style for a number of days, like two strand twists, cornrows, braids (*cough* or weaves).

    High manipulation styles are styles that will require combing, retwisting, fluffing on a daily basis, such as twist-outs (which may be more mid-manipulation), or puffs.

    Protective styles come under the umbrella of low-manipulation styles. Protective styles keep the ends of hair protected and covered, like buns. I like these styles and they keep knots to a minimum or non-existent in my experience.

  • Anonymous says:

    heres what i have to say one a women does have a choice. but im sorry chemical relaxers,perms and etc are not worth it.ur switching your health of hair for a look! and he wants to say what about women who color? what about them your a hair stylist the fact you even brought that up made you look ignorant. you kno good and well relaxers break protein bond in hair to straigten it and then SOME realign in a incorrect order while the other protein bonds are not connected to anythin. look it up! two color doesnt break bonds its absorbed through the hair blending withyour hair and changing the COLOR NOT TEXTURE SMDH! i find it sad and amuses i am not a liscenced stylist and i kno that down to a t. for u to say a wmen who colors isnt natural u are foolish & the comment sum1 put about hair product weather there 100% natural or not u put it in your hair then i guess ur less natural. are u on sumthin? because thats nonsense same thing if it DOESNT ALTER TEXTURE then your hair is still natural smh. and derek saying you dont see other races caring about hair changes let me break this ish down for u and im so disappointed i have to point this out.u must have forgot not to long ago negros and evrything to do with us espcially are hair and skin was mad to feel inferior. i didnt know other races dealt with the bull! ooo and that foolish comment about well stop doing ur legs eyebrows and bull plz dj u know damn well women are subject to ridicule and men to. look at where we live the US how u look matters but thats goin off topic and u know it smh. anyways we as naturals women and men who are sad that we didnt embrace who we truly are sooner because of those same inferiorties dating back to slavery and the 1960 where ppl konk their hair with lye to staraigten are showin kinks curls braids locs is beautiful and mainstream

  • Anonymous says:

    Don't really have much to add except this:

    I read somewhere that recently a group of hairstylists met to discuss how to counter the "natural hair movement" because they felt they were losing money because of it. Of course my instant response was: Since you can't beat it, JOIN IT. That's what I'd like to see Derek do. Not necessarily quit doing what he already does, but take the time to learn (ideally from other hairstylists like Felicia Leatherwood but us "online kitchen-ticians" can help too 😉 ) why so many black women have regained their hair's health by going natural and learning how to work with their own hair independent of salons and stylists. By breaking out of the mold (his language really betrayed how old-school he is, didn't it?) he might then be able to serve as a kind of role model to stylists who want to cater to naturals, just as Kim Coles is one of many role models to women who want to go natural.

    Believe me, I would LOVE to go back to having a regular salon appointment. But the next person I pay to touch my hair will need to love nappy hair (not natural; NAPPY because that's what I've got) at least as much as I do, and that's asking a LOT because I've now been natural for over a decade and most of that's been completely on my own (with help from the Internet, of course). I refuse to give my money to some old-school stylist who thinks my naps are a problem that need fixing!

  • Anonymous says:

    Great interview Nikki!! Got to love you gurl!

    Derek……SWEETIE….. as a person of color AND a stylist with clientele that is largely women of color, shame on you for suggesting that the only way to 'manage' natural hair is by using a relaxer/weave. C'mon your business is hair right? There are indeed TONS of other options….get with the program. I completely understand your mindset and where you are coming from though because I was there. It's great that you are open to thinking outside your relaxer/weave box when it comes to natural hair. I hope you get an A for your 'assignment' from Nikki!

    And heeeeeeey, I don't need a relaxer because one, I've accepted my hair for what it is. It's frizzy, THICK and kinky as hell, needs a TON of patience and can be time-consuming to groom….but IT'S ME! Two, I've taken the time to educate myself and learn how to care for my hair, so now I know what works for it and what doesn't. And THREE, I just got darn tired of lookin' like everybody else! My hair is versatile, fun to wear and super healthy now. Plus after SEVENTEEN years of getting a relaxer I can certainly try something else, right? 'Straight' is out….curls and frizz are in baby!!!

  • April says:

    Excuse me, I meant Anonymous @ 3:43. My apologies to Anonymous @ 3:40.

  • April says:

    This man may not know how to care for natural hair or how to style it but to stay that he's "confused" about other things because of what he wears is straight up rude. This is not a site where we judge people, man or woman.

    Leave those ignorant and disrespectful comments off of this thread. What he wears is his business, I'm sure his clients don't have a problem with it. What a completely disgusting thing to say Anonymous @ 3:40. I wish Derek J luck in learning more about natural hair and hope he keeps pushing to keep the haters away.

  • Prinie says:

    DEREK J.,
    I love your willingness to learn. OMG I love it. 🙂

    I love my natural hair (I'm transitioning) and I don't need a relaxer because it's BEAUTIFUL! It's softer and silkier than my relaxed hair, and I don't need a relaxer because that's the hair I was born with, to take care of and to nurture. And that's what I'm doing. lol

    I look forward to seeing your vids on here though. I really like your willingness to learn so I'm definitely open to learning from you too. 🙂

  • Anonymous says:

    @Anon 6:10 Kimmaytube is probably the highest subscribed youtuber, so I'm sure Nikki knows about her. But she is NOT the person to send someone to who already has negative preconceived notions of naturals. Naptural85, for example, is perfect because her hair is GORGEOUS, she's personable and isn't at all condemning. Kimmaytube…..

  • Ronnie says:

    OK Derek, get it together. We want to help you. I think you must master the following: Low/no sulfate shampooing, conditioning, deep conditioning, moisturizing and sealing, Bantu knot outs, twists–which can then be rocked as twist outs, flexi-rod styles. I can do a fierce Bantu-knot out in less than an hour with a little holding cream and very low heat (and I mean low). That could work in a salon setting/event styling. It is also a big plus if you know how to trim weathered ends without straightening the hair. Hope this helps.

    We will all be watching your progress…
    and although you have really annoyed many, we still want you to get this right. Pulling for ya!

  • Anonymous says:

    Oh Derek honey I still love you! At least he is open to learning about it all..YAAAAY! I would like for Derek J to express his professional opinion on Henna. It's supposed to be great for your hair but in terms of permanance once that burgundy color is in the hair nothing is gonna get it out.

    I dont need a relaxer becuase I know how to keep the frizzies to a minimum and work with the frizzies I can't control. I don't need a relaxer beacause I have learned to work with and love the hair that I have…all 5 textures…LOL!

  • Anonymous says:

    Aw that negro got caught and of course, he liked you Nikki (previous pic taken) so he probably wasn't going to give you any static but had it been one of us average joettes…!

  • Coley Cole says:

    I really wish this was on video. That interview was hilarious!

  • Anonymous says:

    Yes, yes. Everybody's saying the same thing. All I want to add is how hilarious he sounded in my head talkin many RUDE emails he got. Lmao!!!
    So yes, great job. I needed the laugh. We gotta be able to laugh at ourselves. (as long as it's not hurtful, though).

    *please do not misconstrue my lightheartedness for ignorance. Thanks

  • Anonymous says:

    My advice would be to learn a lot of styles so that you can show women that there isn't only one result to seek.

  • Nichole says:

    That's great that Derek is a good sport and is open to learning. I didn't see his interview with his comment but I have to say I agree with him that some black women may not want to rock their natural hair for whatever reason and that's okay. It's taken me years of perusing forums and You Tube videos before feeling like I know how to care for my hair in its natural state. Some may not have the patience or time, and want their hair to look a certain way with chemical altering. I totally agree about where's the line of "natural" and who determines it? Is there a natural hair police? Is hair color okay? How about gel and hair products that alter your texture because most are not completely natural and are designed to change your texture? The list goes on with the number of "unnatural" products we use to cleanse and groom. If we were totally natural, we'd be a smelly, hot hairy mess.

  • Anonymous says:

    I am so happy you are able to reach out to people like this CN!! It gives people like Derek J a chance to clear the air and really say what might have been mis-interpreted–I was never offended by his statement, and I honestly agreed with him on that statement NOT every black women has to be natural!! this topic is so over played I dont get it.
    He made some good points stating that other races can do whatever and no one cares. Why is it the black community goes cray over another womens right to do as she pleases with her hair?!?!?
    The challenge is amazing and I would like to see Derek J learn how to duplicate some of these natural hairstyles we see in Essence or Ebony magazines–Yall know the ones that they take one picture of and say how easy it is to duplicate

  • Anonymous says:

    I have to say as a natural of a year and some months, i am sooooo tired of people taking this natural hair thing so freakin serious. ITS JUST HAIR PEOPLE…GOSH!!! Not everyone will understand or respect it and we cant fight them or judge them when they dont. These nazi's get on my nerves too. *gains composure* I think we should keep loving our hair and ourselves and not give two poops about who doesnt like or support our hair decisions. use whatever products no matter if its organic or not that works for our own individual hairs. Do us and let the nasayers do them. not that complicated. I never caught offense to what he said. Opinions are like holes…everybody got one. *kanye shrug*

  • Anonymous says:

    Excellent interview! I love that you gave it to him straight(no pun intended)without being too aggressive so that he wouldn't be open to what you were saying.

    Also, he cannot POSSIBLY think it's just hair. There's so much more behind it. It's the world telling black women the way that God made them isn't good enough. It's little girls being conditioned into hating themselves. It is EXACTLY what black people need to be talking about. And that's why he can't possibly compare us to white women and their lack of a "natural hair cause." They don't fight the same battles that we do.

    May I suggest that he also check out HairCrush's youtube channel. She has a video montage of her hair journey and how much a relaxer BROKE her hair off. It went from waist length to shoulder length. So relaxing your hair does damage it!

    That being said, I applaud him for being open to learning. That's awesome!

  • Anonymous says:

    Brava! Excellent interview CN!

  • Anonymous says:

    CURLYNIKKI is no KIMMAYTUBE. Nikki is respectful of her readers/followers. I'm just saying…

    I think the interview was well done and hope that Derek will take home some good knowledge.

  • Anonymous says:

    This site and its owner have countless of times advocated for henna as an aid in loosening hair texture. In fact CURLYNIKKI herself has said something to the effect of henna will give you that baby hair effect. If am wrong I stand corrected, but he had a point a lot of people in this natural hair community are not keeping it real. If its natural hair you want then love what grows out of your scalp and stop trying to loosen it.Its your hair do with it as you please but don't be doing things to enhance your hair and then check someone else for their opinions. Oh and on another note is it just me or is CURLYNIKKI not aware of kimmaytube? kimmaytube is to youtube as curlynikki is to bloging (in the naturalista kinda way)

  • Anonymous says:

    There was a lot I wanted to respond to in this interview but I simply don't have the energy. But one thing that stand out to me is the misconception that only Black women care about natural hair and the like. I think it would also be good for him to check some of the information on the site and hear stories of how White and multiracial women (and men) have come to accept their curls. Just a thought!

  • Anonymous says:

    @CURLYNIKKI, nope I wouldnt be mad and while you grab my style & hair icon TRACEE ELLIS ROSS!!

  • Ebony says:

    Great interview Nikki! I have been natural for almost three years and I am never going back to a relaxer! And the reason why is that I LOVE my own hair. For years I bought into that hype that my hair on its own was not "manageable". And from the time that I was 6 I was being forced to relax hair that never had a chance to be taken care of naturally, in its own state. I didn't have the skills to take care of it and neither did my mother. What's worse is that I didn't know how to maintain the relaxer. So like Derek J said I was getting the relaxer but didn't know that there were things that I should be doing at home to take care of my hair on its own. Finally after being on my own after college and going on the stylist merry-go round I decided to pursue going natural. It was a rough road at first because I didn't know what to do other than wash it and put it in a pony poof. But thanks to YouTube and sites like CN I was able to develop a hair care regimen that allowed me to achieve hair that I thought I would never see on my own head unless it was a weave or a wig. Now I feel empowered by being able to take care of my own hair and I love that it is all my own hair. Natural isn't about just not having a relaxer, and there's nothing wrong with that, but it's about embracing your hair and knowing that there is nothing "wrong" with it no matter what length, texture, or curl type you are.

  • Anonymous says:

    I'm happy that Derek is willing to learn. There are so many stylists who feel that they don't have to learn anything about natural hair because their clients are willing to relax or weave it up. Traditional stylists need to stop discounting the natural hair community. We are here, and we're not going anywhere. You need to diversify, and meet the needs of all your clientele. I left my stylist because she told me that she didn't do natural hair. A year later, she's singing a different tune.

  • Anonymous says:

    GREAT interview Nikki!! *high five* But Derek J still gets the side eye from me. I don't think he is interested at all in getting to know the BEAUTY of kinky natural hair – how it feels, how it moves, how it shines, the body, the volume, how is coils and curls… it's awesome – so as long as that is the case, he just won't "get it." At least he's willing to do the homework! lol

    I do agree with him thought about one thing. If you wear straight hair 100% of the time – you may as well get a perm because the heat will do more damage! And the upkeep is hard dependent on rain, fog, swimming, working out, etc. I used to be one of those "natural" girls who pressed her hair damn near every day and ALWAYS wore it straight. I did this for about 10 years. My fine hair never got passed arm pit length and in the end, a bog chop was my only choice…

  • CURLYNIKKI says:

    🙂 no prob anon. So now you won't be surprised when I get NeNe on the couch, lol… or 'The Time', WTH? Right? Lol, I say, why not?!

  • Unknown says:

    I knew the naturals were going to come for him for that!!! He is like ALOT of traditional hairdressers, they think like that about natural hair and relaxers and who needs them and who doesn't….So I wasn't mad as a natural. But, what kills me is that he is an educator for many brands, does seminars and classes and he seems very oblivious to the natural hair lifestyle….*shrugs*

  • Anonymous says:

    @CURLYNIKKI, thanks for responding to my question, I thought it was valid question since this page is MOSTLY about natural hair.

  • Jeannette says:

    Firstly, I'd like to say to Curlynikki… CONGRATULATIONS with this interview! I love how you were tactfully direct but didn't bite your tongue. Secondly, I thank Derek J for being so open to listening, again thank you. The styling tips I have is to educate, educate educate on how to care for natural hair (without weaves, wigs, relaxers, keratin treatment, Brazilian blowout, pressing combs etc), ONLY natural hair. Read books like The Science of Black Hair by Audrey Davis-Sivasothy. Youtube vloggers such as the ones Nikki Mentioned are GREAT (I thank Nikki for mentioning three curlies with different hair textures). There is also BeautifulBrownBabyDoll, she's great. Hair stylists such as Nedjetti Harvey and stylists at Kamit Kinks (Both in NYC) are great. It's not just Black Women who have this issue but if it is, so what. There is history pain, acceptance, pride and freedom surrounding Hair in the Black Community that runs deep, I say learn your history. In the end, I like my kinky hair and being natural because I am free from relaxers and any chemicals placed in my hair. I have so much freedom and versatility that I NEVER dreamed of. I can do so much more with my hair now that it is chemical free. More than I ever could do when it was relaxed. Wishing you all the best

  • curlychefrobin says:

    I would like to Derek to be trained on understanding why this is so important to so many of us. For some black women, accepting and loving our natural hair is a mind blowing experience. For years we believed our hair was "bad" and to accept it is an experience to say the least. Accepting and loving my hair in it's natural state was not just about a style for me but saying that what God created is GOOD. That freed me to try a myriad of styles but it also freed me to walk around happy and confident in who I am. Normally, (not all but in my opinion most) white women aren't trained to think their hair is bad because it is straight. We have been brainwashed by our parents, the media, society and our peers to believe that as a people our hair is, unmanageable, unruly, nappy and down right bad! I stand with great pride during this natural hair revolution and proclaim that we are going to be free of that! People will accept what God made as beautiful!!! I don't have to have straight hair or "loosely curled hair" to be beautiful (nothing wrong with it but it's not the only beautiful). I can have a shrunken fro, twist-out, twists or bantu knots and look AMAZING and praise God I finally feel amazing while rocking them! We can't allow anyone to take away the significance of that for us.

    I want him to read some letters from those of us who have cried in the bathroom of school because we didn't have good hair and would be picked on by the other kids. How about those of us who had to get weaves because our hair was breaking off. For me, it was more than a style, it was a step in learning to love me no matter what anyone else thought or said.

    Whew . . . I think that's it for now!

  • CURLYNIKKI says:

    Thanks dolls!

    @anon 4:53, why did I interview Sheree… or Kandi… or Regina King… if I don't advocate for relaxed hair? Great question!

    First, I'm definitely not anti relaxer or weaves. I'm just pro natural. I'm also pro choice… do you. I do my best to present information (in a fun way) that will help women make the best choice for them, and often, many find that natural hair offers more versatility than they once thought!

    CN is not just a natural hair site, at least I like to think it's more. Yes, natural hair is the focus or the thread that is always present and running throughout, but it's a lifestyle site… you'll find random topics like, why my boobs were saggy post birth and how much I love Katt Williams. You find posts on self-esteem, skin care and healthy eating. I interview celebs… men, women, natural, relaxed 'cause I enjoy the ability to do so. It's fun and I feel that even non-natural hair folk have something to add to the discussion… even if it's about entrepreneurial ventures, motherhood or vegan lifestyles.

    I hope that answers it!

  • Anonymous says:

    Entertaining interview. Kudos to Derek for wanting to broaden his hair horizons.

  • Brytne Shakur says:

    I agree with Derek J on so many levels and I am a natural sista and a black panther. A lot of natural women do look down on black women with a perm as if they ain't have a perm 5 years ago. And some people prefer their hair straight. Straight hair looks amazing on some black woman and sometimes natural hair isn't for everybody. If you don't have the patience to groom your "naps" and manage them, then sometimes you do end up looking like you got beady beads on the back of your neck and that is just not flattering. I see a lot of people with these natural bushes and they look untidy. I love my black sisters and I wish we could all walk around wearing our afro's black beret hats and black panther fist, but sometimes the bush just doesn't work for us. I love how naturalistas stick together, but don't act like you ain't seen somebody bush and thought, what in the world…

  • Anonymous says:

    wow he actually seemed willing to learn and grow. Yet everyone seems to gang up on him because of his opinion. He may not work with it alot (in terms of styling) but he never said it was ugly or unkempt. I agree with him that a lot of times people do desire looser styles even natural hair folks. Why don't we see more wash and go's on the kinkiest haired people? Why is there so much gel and product used to create curls and looser hair?

  • Anonymous says:

    I feel like everyone is entitled to their opinion. I stopped using relaxers because it was the best things for me. Relaxers did not fit my lifestyle. I like to be active, sweat and swim *lol*. It would be behoove Derick to learn more about natural hair, because it is taking the black community by storm, and as a serious stylist, why not? It just makes you more of a master with your craft. I applaud the fact that he refused to mince words. There are some people in the natural hair community that just think of it as a gang. It's not. This is just another issue of conversation to talk about, like civilized adults. If someone is complaining that relaxers are ruining their hair and they refuse to go natural, so what? How is that your problem? A lot of us on here, I'm assuming are black women. So instead of condemning your sister on how she wears her hair, how about you uplift her and help boost her confidence?

  • Kenya says:

    I just had a conversation with my sister (who has been natural for 3 1/2 years–she has locs) last week about how I used to think that when my hair was relaxed and growing out that it was nappy. I have been natural for one year. I LOVE LOVE LOVE my natural hair!!! I actually enjoy watching youtube vids and reading blogs about how to achieve different styles. I take more care and have more interest in styling my hair.

    Let me be clear, my hair was not damaged or thin when it was relaxed. I decided to big chop and go natural because I didn't want to find a new beautician when I relocated.

    I don't need a relaxer because plain and simple I don't want one. I realize that natural hair is not for everyone. I have friends that are natural that prefer the straight look, and that's their prerogative. As for me, I love big and curly hair.

    I find it interesting that a lot of the wigs and weaves that I see are trying to accomplish the same look as what most naturals are able to achieve with a little bit of time and patience.

    Derek J- You will truly be fierce once you master natural hair styles!! Good luck!!

  • Anonymous says:

    I meant tough skin

  • Anonymous says:

    @CurlyNikki, you dont advocate RELAXED OR WEAVED hair so why was SHEREE from ATL Housewives on the couch with a picture of her fake weaved up hair???

  • Anonymous says:

    I think this natural hair trend has turned into buffoonery!! People have made it as intense as religion. We are called "individuals" for a reason, each person has a right to be and do whatever they want if it's not harming anyone. Too much in life divides us as a community and this natural hair trend is the newest culprit. From a proud natural for 15 years that respects everyone permed, locs, bald, colored and the list go on. Now if we could all just use this energy to help a wayward teenager or someone down on their luck just imagine how powerful that would be. My heart goes out to Derek for 1. the ignorant emails he received 2. to have to explain and justify such shallow topics. People have to grow some touch skin and move on with what matters in life too much to be done after combing that beautiful hair. Do we want to be known by our beautiful hair transformation or blessing someone with love, smiles, nice words. Geesh!

  • Anonymous says:

    Dear Derek J, you are cute as a button but you are the product of your environment.

    If all we were ever taught was "straight=pretty" and "nappy=unkempt", we learn take the path of least resistance. No one wants to be singled out as "unkempt".

    D-Baby, you can talk the talk – but can you walk the walk? Umm – no boo you can't – as long as you think that we have an issue with our hair.

    We don't have an issue with our hair, we have an issue with those that think our hair should be modified (e.g. relaxed) to look more mainstream.

  • Anonymous says:

    @Tia, you are right not EVERY natural but a large majority have complained or do complained about the items I mentioned. I follow several forums, board and websites and its always the same issues over n over!!

  • Tiffany G says:

    I'm glad this interview was done because I understood what he was saying but what "he said" was completely taken the wrong way. I have been natural for three years and I will never go back to a perm. No matter who did it, it was not what I liked and my mom didn't care for dealing with my natural hair. My first perm really messed my hair because obviously the person who was doing it did not know what they were doing and it changed the color of my hair. But that was when I was younger alot younger and my mom had the say so on how my hair was going to be. Any who I love my natural hair and I am never going back to a perm. I'm still learning my natural hair because I was one of those that wore weaves alot and my hair was natural underneath. Now that I have finally started wearing my own hair since August 2011 I feel less stressed. But one tip that I will give Derek J is watch what product you use, not all products can be used on natural hair especially if it has sulfates, and many other so called preservative ingredients in it. Also for the people who are calling this man names and calling him out about his attire and sexual preference GET A LIFE. The hate mail is so not needed and it makes the natural hair community look like we are gang bangers…REALLY???

  • Dee says:

    I can understand his comments, he is only going by what is around him and what he knows. I think all he needs to learn that there are other ways around chemicals. That a Chemical should be your last resort. I am in school for hair and there is little to no training on what to do with kinky curly hair. I came in the game pretty well versed in my own hair and was able to educate my educators on what could be done on natural hair.
    I do feel like it is my job to encourage my clients to embrace what they have. They come to me with a million questions and they want answers. So everyday I am constantly soaking up whatever I can. I know how to take care of my own natural curls… but those are mine, sometimes it can be a challenge to take on a new texture and I've had to do some research and some trial and errors. But making my client happy is my first priority.
    I think the homework assigned is efficient, once he starts I believe he will dig deep and go beyond for his natural clients.

  • Unknown says:

    "@ANON 4:18…you hit the nail on the head!!!
    Everyone who is natural complains about shrinkage, knots, growth, bad products, hair type, hair texture etc. etc…"

    I disagree. Not "everyone" maybe a lot but I do want to be included in that "everyone." I love love love my shrinkage and I use it to create different looks and styles. I am NOT growth obsessed, I hate hair typing, and I love all 4 of my textures. All naturals don't fit into that box you just created.

  • Naturally Nita says:

    2 things…great interview and I appreciate Derek J for being so candid. I recently went to a hair show in NC where a "hair art" competition was featured and got heated when one of the seasoned stylists basically went in on the stage talking about their business was being "taken away" from them because of women going natural.

    One of the things that I believe is crucial for success in business is recognizing trends, educating yourself on them, and positioning yourself to profit from them. I do believe that natural hair is here to stay and while I also believe that relaxers and weaves will never go away, it would behoove any stylist to become informed about this growing trend in African American hair care.

    So all that to say, I applaud Derek J for sincerely taking an interest in educating himself on the beauty that is natural hair in it's true state.

    (Side note: There are times that I protect my hair with weaves & wigs (albeit naturally kinky curly textured -just keeping it 100%) but it's not because I can't achieve a look with my own hair, it's just to give me & my hair a styling break. Then it's back to my "real" hair. And it makes me no less natural to do that.)

  • Anonymous says:

    Perfect response CN! Great interview and good approach. How do you get in touch with these celebrities?

  • Tanya says:

    Nikki wasn't saving Derek J, he came looking for her and I think that shows he wants to learn more and Nikki plans to help him on that path. Why the hate?

  • Anonymous says:

    Nikki isn't a hypocrite because she doesn't relax, doesn't advocate relaxing nor does she subscribe to Derek's opinion that chemicals are needed to achieve certain looks. That's what she took issue with. Get it right! Nikki knows that you can achieve any and every look, be it straight, curly, wavy or kinky hair… using styling techniques alone, not chemicals.

  • Anonymous says:

    I agree with Anon at 4:18pm. Dereck J does have a point. Nikki defintely did not need to fly in and save the day for Dereck J. He has a right to his opinion/thoughts and I am sure is good at what he does and I don't think he meant any harm. Dereck J stay fabulous and I am sure that if you become versed in styling natural hair you will be fabulous at that too.

  • Anonymous says:

    @ANON 4:18…you hit the nail on the head!!!
    Everyone who is natural complains about shrinkage, knots, growth, bad products, hair type, hair texture etc. etc…

  • Ashley Jane says:

    @Anon 4:18
    I'm a little confused by your statement. I don't recall Nikki ever saying she wanted a looser curl and she has worn wash and goes… Stretching the hair is a matter of styling and for some its a matter of hair health because tightly coiled hair unstretched is more susceptable to ssk's and tangling… Stretching and styling hair is totally different than wanting a whole other texture as Derek J was talking about. I don't get where you detected hypocracy in Nikki's statement. Also, for as much effort as we put into our hair its understandable if a person would want to sport their hard work and hair growth by strecthing the hair…. None of which has anything to do with wanting a looser curl. I don't want to start a debate, I just thought your comment was a little harsh.

  • Kirstin Walker says:

    He's humble and willing to learn…I can ONLY respect that! Wonderful interview! But I feel him! I'm natural and I can't talk with some other naturals because they get militant-like and I can't deal with that! There is a lot of GRAY areas within natural hair. It's never just black and white! We all have to right our own rules for our hair at the end of the day!!!

  • Anonymous says:

    I completely agree with Tawanna and TheRYL1! I don’t want this to be minimized to a simple hair styling issue. Black women don’t have the luxury to believe that our hair does not have historical, social, and political significance. It was no coincidence that First Lady Michelle Obama was portrayed (in a caricature) with a fro, which, was an assumed insult, radical, etc..

  • Anonymous says:

    Nikki I appreciate you "checking" him in areas that needed it. But he did have a point about what he hears from MANY in the natural community about.

    How many women do you see on these sites who are *obsessed* with their curl pattern, obsessed with growth, obsessed with combatting "shrinkage"?

    Even you Nikki — your hair is lovely but you do everything you can to "stretch" it. You don't wear your hair, truly, in it's "natural" state, which would be…shrunken.

    Indeed, "do you, boo boo" — but don't be a hypocrite.

  • Anonymous says:

    I'm anon 3:43, and I am neither hating nor think this man is fierce. Some people are not going to be in love with all textures of natural hair, and I don't understand the energy put into worrying about it. And if someone has to be educated about the beauty of my hair (and a Black stylist as well) I would prefer to have someone who does not need to be shown how to style the same hair growing out of his scalp. There I a learning curve to properly treating curly/kinky/coily hair, and no way would I allow this "fierce" weavologist practice on my head. Good luck to Taneisha, and yep Derek I shave my body hair and guess what-still all natural! Lol

  • honeybrown1976 says:

    Yay, you went hard on him, Nikki!! I'm so proud of you. Also, I'm glad that Derek J. had the backbone to face up to what he said and learn from it.

    Love all around!

  • Anonymous says:

    He should also read, "The Science of Black Hair" book for a double dose of education. Hair is his field, he should strive to know it through and through. Good luck Derek! Great interview Nikki!

  • Ashley Jane says:


    Derek J, there is no need to get a relaxer or texturizer to loosen your curl. All you need is some coconut milk and mashed avocado, heat it up on the stove, put it in the hair and tie it up for a couple hours under a plastic cap, rinse and BOOM… looser curls lol :)…… But thats just for women that desire a looser curl most of us naturals just want to work with our own texture. SO, Derek you are correct! The women that want to constantly achieve a looser curl instead of workin with their texture should indeed get a texturizer or weave to get the look they want as opposed to the look they naturally have.

  • Ms.LondonCurls says:

    Great interview Nikki … sounds like he contradicting himself and has a lot to learn.
    Natural hair is very diverse but I do get his point about some women hair but instead of being lazy to sew in some tracks some women hair needs more training than others and it does takes time. I'm looking forward to see the follow up.

  • Anonymous says:

    @ Tawanna

    I am feeling everything you said!! Especially the first paragraph. I NEVER get why people compare wearing your hair naturally hair to grooming!! Maybe they think that getting a caustic chemical applied to your hair every six to eight weeks is basic grooming…smh.

    -Neesha Cherie

  • Bobby says:

    DJ…" I’ve seen women that want to go natural but turn to weaves first to get the look they’re going for. They say, ‘oh my hair’s too short to wear natural’, or 'it’s too this or that to wear natural’. So they get a weave to get that natural look that they want to have."

    Derek, is right with this comment. How many ppl have written on CN that they big chopped and dont know what to do with their TWA???? A LOT, and thats why SOME new natural that BC turn to braids and weaves 'cause they dont know what to do with it and society has told them if it aint curly & wave its not presentable.

  • Irendi says:

    I come here..Black Girl Long Hair…and Naptural85 for most of my hair care advice to be honest. I'm more of a lurker than a commenter, but I still find out what I need to know!

    Kudos to Derek J for being so open to learning more about women who happen to have natural hair.

    The reason I stopped relaxing is because it STOPPED WORKING! LOL. My hair would no longer "take" to the relaxer, so I'd simply end up w/ sores in my scalp for nothing (also, over the years, my scalp has become averse to relaxers. It only takes 5 min for it to burn.) But, that being said- I'm learning to love my hair, but Lord, there are days where I'd like to scream. Case in point- the other day where I had to detangle the mess remaining after removing mini twists then letting my hair be wild & out for 3 more days. That was just bad.

  • Divafied Mama says:

    Don't forget AfricanExport! She'll give him some ideas, and also some tips on hair car. Oh and true natural vet Glamzini.

  • Leah says:

    Work with the natural texture, not against it!

  • Tawanna says:

    What I don't understand, and completely disagree with in the statements he made in this interview, is the constant need to compare apples to oranges! Why does being true to wearing your hair natural mean you should stop shaving, wearing a bra, and that other nonsense he was talking? Like being natural means you can't apply basic grooming habits. When did "natural" and "grooming" become the same thing?

    A lot of times making the decision to go natural does lead to incorporating a lifestyle change of being more healthy in what we eat and put on our body; but if that's your definition of natural, then you stop grooming. Don't impose your definition on me by telling me to accept what God gave me by not grooming or wearing a bra.

    And fyi, white people and other races DO have some of the same hair issues and prejudices against their curly hair as we do. They were wearing weaves long before we were. But in any case, they don't have the same history (black history) that we do. They don't need to walk around with "a cause".

    Yes, Derek J, you are very ignorant. Maybe once you are educated, you won't be any longer.

  • Anonymous says:

    Werk Nikki Werk! I know Derek must be thanking his lucky stars that you came along all Oprah style. Education is key and I think this was a very good start.

  • TheRYL1 says:

    Doncha hate it when one is called out about a negative natural hair comment, they ALWAYS go to either of these:

    1. It's so many more issues that Black people should be concerned about, etc., etc., (but the topic was/is hair); and

    2. If you going to have natural hair, why don't you just go all the way. Stop wearing deodorant , lotion, shaving your legs, etc.

    He must have really FELT the hate email because he used BOTH! LMAO

    WHATEVER! As Nikki said, our motto is: DO YOU, BOO BOO! 🙂

    SN: I won't even mention when they throw out the "other" people don't go through all that because of their hair. FYI–If you are considered the "norm", you don't have to justify anything. It's those going against the norm who do. I'm just saying. (I guess I did mention it, huh? LOL)

  • Zipporen1975 says:

    Good going Nikki. Love the homework assignments.

    White women don't have "natural hair cause" because they won't told that their hair were bad or ugly. Black women come at this issue hard because we are pushing back at centuries of negativity towards our hair.

  • NtrlGAGirl says:

    @ Anonymous 3:43: Don't hate on the fierceness that is Derek J. What does how he chooses to outfit himself have to do with his views of natural hair? I bet u thought that was cute…

    This was a good interview & I like your approach, Nikki. I also like that he was open to listening and learning! I can't wait to see him style Taneisha.

  • Anonymous says:

    About that its an only black people that make it into a big deal, that is bullshit. If a white girl wanted to perm her hair curly she would not receive the same backlash from her peers as a black woman who went natural. Black girls at a young age are ridiculed for being born with kinky hair, this is not the same for white girls. This is a deep seated "racial" issue and its sad that people want to paint it another way. Yes I have white friends considering perming their hair curly, but they never had any internalized issues with their hair pin straight and they will probably go back to it in the future. This is not the same case for my black friends. Until kinky/curly hair is no longer seen as an abomination in the black/latino communities maybe than its okay for a black or Hispanic women to change up her hair texture, the same as a white women changing up her hair texture just for fun.

  • Anonymous says:

    Get it reporter Nikki!! Excellent interview!! I love how you called Derek J on his mess, and assigned him homework!! He surely does have a lot to learn and I'm glad he's willing to open his mind. This is very exciting. Derek J is (arguably) the face of black hair stylists, so if he is knowlegdable about natural hair and its dopeness, others may follow suit. Natural to the world!!

    Oh, and I don't need a relaxer because my hair isn't stressed!! Lol!! I saw that on a t-shirt and I'd been waiting to use it on someone, lol. 🙂

    -Neesha Cherie

  • CURLYNIKKI says:

    Thanks ladies! This was a fun one because he was so willing to be forthright and open about it. He was really hurt by the emails and he honestly didn't 'get it'. We're gonna check up on him soon and see if he's doing his homework… give him a pop quiz, lol! And yes, with a voice as big as his, it would be awesome if he could make an impact… help other stylists to get familiar with the ways of natural hair too!

  • Ashley B says:

    Nikki you are official for this interview. I love how candid you were with him and the challenge you gave him at the end. Hopefully he will take on that challenge and as someone with a big voice in the industry hopefully he can encourage other stylist to learn the proper way to do natural hair.

  • Anonymous says:

    This is a man who wears hotpants and thigh high boots. He is confused about a lot more than hair. And for most naturals our hair only becomes a "cause" when running into someone who makes ignorant comments about natural hair. Let him stay misinformed, someone has to keep the yaki industry in business.

  • Ms Hood says:

    Nikki, that was AWESOME! And whats even more awesome is that he had an open mind to learn more about what he wasnt knowledgeable of. Kudos to both of you!

  • Anonymous says:

    Best interview ever! Nikki you are doing it girl, Derek J needs help and if anyone can do it it's you. Can't wait to see him style Taneica's hair!

  • donna dorrane says:

    lol…get'em Nik, that was a Barbara Walter's type interview. I luved it, and he's a great sport about it too. I wear a buzz-cut, so I couldn't help him in that dept. as far as style tips.

  • Anonymous says:

    ooooooo Chile…..Derek J does need some help. LOL!

    I don't need a relaxer simply because everything that a relaxed woman can do with her hair (with a chemical), I can do with my natural. If I want a looser curl, I can stretch into whatever curl I want using braidouts, twistouts, banding, flat-ironing, etc.

    I know that high and frequent use of heat on my hair will, inherently, damage it, so I don't do it alot. There's a balance.

    My natural hair is VERY versatile, and I LOVEEESSS IT!

  • kurlybella says:

    good interview, nikki.

    add to his homework that he needs to come straight over to KISFORKINKY.COM. we all know the kind of hair derek is talking about – it's the kind of hair that i have – and i can show him just how FLY and manageable it can be. nobody wants a kinky girl's hair, that is until they read the blog! lol! 😉

    kudos to derek for wanting to learn about the life of the natural girl. that's the sign of a great stylist.

  • 773natural says:

    Cool interview. It is apparent that he wasn't as well informed about not only natural hair but the sensitivity and might I add Over sensitivity of some naturals and different terms relating to natural hair and relaxers. But as the saying goes "When you know better you do better". We all are entitled opinions and preferences. His might not be in the area of actual Natural Hair care. The one thing I will disagree with though is the comment about Relaxers not damaging people's hair. Touche' The chemicals in relaxers are very harmful no matter the person applying the treatment.

  • Anonymous says:

    LOL! Derek has homework and lots of it. He needs a natural hair class or two. Great interview Nikki, you cray.

  • Shelli says:

    That's cute! I was worried about Derek for a minute. He doesn't really get it yet. But I'm so impressed that he's willing to learn in spite of that azz whoopin' he got after the show. Can't wait to read the update after the completion of his "assignment."

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